Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): ITV, Miniweb, Syabas, Vestel, MSNBC, NBA

--ITV to Revamp Commercial and Online Division for Multiplatform
--Miniweb in Connected-TV Deals with Syabas, Vestel
--MSNBC Launches Social TV-Enabled iPad App to Accompany "Rachel Maddow Show"
--NBA Game Time to Launch on Connected-TV Platforms from LG, Panasonic, Samsung

Due to the large volume of news generated by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which took place last week in Las Vegas, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up form. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster, ITV, has announced that it is revamping its commercial and online division as part of a strategic plan to "create world-class content, delivered across multiple platforms." According to the company, the changes to its commercial and online business "will see the division focus more closely than ever before on customers, advertisers and consumers as the company not only continues to protect and grow its TV sales business but also evolves to become a global multiplatform company, building a two-way relationship with viewers through online...The newly appointed managing director of online and on-demand, Robin Pembrooke, and his team have already set about redefining ITV.com," ITV states in its press materials. "The ITV Player launched on Sony's PS3 before Christmas and is already driving significant incremental viewing of ITV content on-demand and the focus will also be on delivering fantastic high-quality viewing experiences across mobile, PC and gaming platforms with recommendations, social integration and targeted adverts."
  • Miniweb, a London-based company which offers technology designed to enable converged broadcast and broadband entertainment on the TV (note: last fall, the company launched its "woomi" connected-TV services platform, which it bills as delivering multiple online video sources to connected-TV devices within one application--see the article published on itvt.com, September 9th), has announced the integration of its connected-TV platform into Syabas's new generation of Popbox and Popcorn Hour OTT set-top boxes. According to the company, the integration adds video search and personalization features to the boxes, and functionality will be rolled out progressively throughout the year. "Miniweb's platform will enable Syabas to move their user experience to a full connected-TV proposition and bring a true search capability to Syabas products," Miniweb states in its press materials. "Miniweb's outstanding connected-TV capabilities will also provide the ground work for a future of online payment and advertising solutions. Miniweb's Connected TV Services Platform enables global search, recommendations, personalization, single payments and advertising options for all of Syabas' content providers, who can benefit from new revenue streams around premium content payments and advertising...Internet video from Miniweb's existing partners will be discoverable on Popbox and Popcorn Hour devices, further broadening the content offering to Syabas consumers and providing additional distribution for Miniweb's content publishers. Miniweb's platform integration will move the user experience beyond an app environment and allow consumers to seamlessly search for Internet video across multiple content publishers."
  • In other Miniweb news: The company has announced a partnership to bring its woomi offering to Vestel's connected-TV devices. "By partnering with woomi, Vestel customers in more than 40 countries in Europe will be able to utilize advanced functionality and features such as global search and content discovery, recommendations, related content, community, micropayments and personalization," Miniweb states in its press materials. "woomi gives viewers access to online video content from multiple content partners within one application. It is fully customizable and enables content providers and device manufacturers to benefit from new revenue streams generated by micropayments and advertising. woomi allows device manufacturers to offer a compelling, connected online video experience to their customers and gives content partners a global distribution and monetization platform for their content across the largest footprint of connected-TV devices."
  • Cable news channel, MSNBC, has launched a free, social TV-enabled iPad app. The app is initially designed for use with "The Rachel Maddow Show," but will eventually be extended to other programs, MSNBC says. "The 'Watch Party,' a live viewing experience featured on the app, gives consumers an interactive way to enjoy one of America's most popular cable news shows," MSNBC explains in its press materials. "Viewers can join the Maddow 'Watch Party' and read real-time tweets from @maddow as well as guests, fans and other viewers using the #maddow hashtag--while the show is in progress. By connecting the app to their Twitter account, viewers can easily join the discussion. The MSNBC iPad app featuring 'The Rachel Maddow Show' delivers one-touch access to the MaddowBlog (www.maddowblog.msnbc.com), where viewers can watch video clips from the latest broadcast and explore fully interactive transcripts that allow them to navigate by keywords. Consumers also have an archive of the last 20 shows at their fingertips, allowing them to watch popular show segments such as 'The Interview,' 'Moment of Geek,' and 'Debunktion Junction' anytime."
  • NBA Digital has announced plans to offer its NBA Game Time application on the LG NetCast, the Panasonic Viera Connect and the Samsung Apps connected-TV platforms (note: the service is currently also available on Google TV devices, Roku boxes and Vizio's Vizio Internet Apps platform). "Fans will be able to watch video highlights, check the latest league standings, and access comprehensive statistics," NBA Digital explains in its press materials. "NBA Game Time will be customized for each connected device, allowing fans to enjoy the unique aspect of the leanback HD viewing experience. NBA Game Time on all connected devices will be available in two versions. The free version will provide fans with access to live scores, complete player statistics, standings, and game highlights. The premium version will offer an extensive video library, live game audio broadcasts, searchable player stats, and news, plus access from NBA.com to League Pass Broadband live and archived games."

 

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